Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trash Bucket

There are still a couple of days left in Missouri's No MOre Trash! Bash, and still plenty of nice weather for you to organize a group to help clean up Missouri.

A new innovation was recently created by a MoDOT employee that makes picking up trash easier and safer. The Trash Bucket was one of five state winners in MoDOT's statewide annual Innovations Challenge, and it will help our state on its way to becoming litter-free.

MoDOT Maintenance Crew Leader Tommie Chitwood used scrap material on hand by cutting the top off a bucket and using the tension ring from the lid to create a bag holder - the holder keeps the bag open and ready for trash. The handle also provides a good grip to hold the bag steady. Volunteers and workers can keep their eyes on the road rather than turning attention away to open a trash bag.

No matter what you use to pick up trash, learn more about keeping Missouri litter-free and consider getting involved today!

No MOre Trash!

Getting There -- Is It Worth Your Life?

Usually twice a week, my family and I cross the Union Pacific Railroad track on Highway 179 in Jefferson City on our way to and from church. Each time we hope we don’t get stopped by a train, but occasionally the lights flash, the bells sound and the gates go down to warn us that either the Missouri River Runner or a freight train is coming through. Sure it may be a little inconvenient and it may make us a few minutes late, but getting there – is it worth your life? No!

I have placed a solemn reminder to be cautious at highway-rail crossings on the bulletin board at our church. It’s a news clipping of a car smashed by a train at a nearby crossing. The driver did not survive. On Tuesday, I was delivering the same type of message, just much more directly. Volunteers from MoDOT, the Highway Patrol, Missouri Operation Lifesaver and I met at the Route 179 highway-rail crossing to conduct a Positive Enforcement Program - a key component of this year's Rail Safety Week on April 25-29. We stopped several motorists on both sides of the track to share some important rail safety tips. I hope you will also think about them every time you encounter a train or railroad tracks:

• Always expect a train.
• Never drive around gates when they are lowered.
• Never walk or play on railroad tracks, it’s dangerous and illegal.
• A train always has the right of way.
• Trains can’t stop quickly, so never try to beat one.
• Look, listen and Live!